Agreement between Newcastle Council and State Government to protect key biodiversity corridor

Newcastle Council has signed a Conservation Agreement with the state government to protect a key biodiversity corridor in the city’s north-west.

The 22-hectare site located at Black Hill within the Hexham Wetlands forms a link between Stockton and the Watagans and is home to a number of threatened species including the grey-headed flying fox, black neck stork and netted bottle brush.

It’s also home to important flora which provide habitat to those species, including the Lower Hunter Spotted Gum.

NSW Environment Minister, Penny Sharpe, said it’s a fantastic result to see this area come under permanent protection.

“It has long-held significance to the Awabakal and Worimi people and has important ecological, cultural and social significance for Novocastrians and the Hunter community,”

“The conservation management actions City of Newcastle will take with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust will preserve these wetland and woodland environments for the future. They leave a lasting legacy,” Minister Sharpe said.

The value of the site has also been recognised and accommodated by Transport for NSW in its design of the adjacent extension of the M1 motorway.

Newcastle Lord Mayo Nuatali Nelmes said she wants to see that consideration extended to other forms of transport.

“The proposed alignment of a Lower Hunter Freight Corridor cuts across the northern boundary of the land parcel so we’re hoping this Conservation Agreement will be taken into consideration during the final design phase,” Cr Nelmes said.